PLATTERS AND BOARDS | RECIPE

This visual cornucopia of a cookbook is THE guide to entertaining with effortless style. Celebrated author and food blogger Shelly Westerhausen shares the secrets to creating casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy (and envy). Organised by time of day, 40 contemporary arrangements are presented with gorgeous photography, easy–to–prepare recipes, suggested meat and drink pairings and notes on preparation and presentation.

Helpful advice includes tips on portioning, picking surfaces and vessels, pairing complementary textures and flavours, plus a handy chart featuring board suggestions for a variety of occasions (from holiday parties to baby showers). PLATTERS AND BOARDS is an inspiring housewarming or hostess gift and resource for throwing unforgettable get–togethers.

Shelly Westerhausen is the author of VEGETARIAN HEARTLAND and the founder of the blog Vegetarian Ventures. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her boyfriend, Wyatt.

The following recipe is from Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen with Wyatt Worcel


FONDUE SPREAD

Fondue (the French word for “melt”) was a popular party theme in the fifties, sixties, and seventies in the United States, and it’s still just as thrilling to have a fondue party today as it was back then! With little preparation required and a communal serving style, fondue is an interactive way to bring people together at the table.

STRATEGY: Dice and prepare as much of the food ahead of time as you can. Steam the vegetables and cook the fondue right before eating. Look for color-coded fondue spears
so that each guest can keep track of their own eating utensils (especially if guests are eating directly from the spears instead of transferring to their plates and using forks).

DRINK PAIRING: Serve with an aromatic white wine like a Riesling. If you want to serve something more unique, add a splash of Kirsch, a German cherry brandy, as it is traditionally added to many cheese fondue recipes.

WYATT’S MEATY SUGGESTION: Salami and cheese are already a delicious match, but when this salty meat is dipped in warm fondue, it reaches an entirely new level of mouth-watering.

SERVES 6

  • Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue (recipe follows)
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 cups [170 g] snap peas
  • 3 apples, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups [480 g] seedless grapes
  • 1 pumpernickel loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 French bread loaf, cut into bite-size pieces

1. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and place in the centre of your serving table.

2. Working in batches, lightly steam the broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and bell peppers. Transfer the veggies to a platter with the snap peas and set on the serving table. Lightly toss the apple slices in lemon juice, place on a plate with the grapes and put on the serving table.

3. Combine the two breads on the last plate and place on the serving table.


Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue

MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS [400 G]

  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup [240 ml] dry white wine
  • 11/2 cups [110 g] shredded white
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 11/2 cups [110 g] shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup [80 g] shredded Emmental cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 11/2 tsp white truffle oil

1. Rub the garlic all over the inside of a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and cornstarch and whisk together. Slowly pour in the white wine while whisking. Turn the heat to medium and let cook until simmering. Once simmering, add small handfuls of the shredded cheeses to the mixture, constantly whisking and making sure the cheese has completely melted before adding another handful. Once all the cheese has been added and melted, remove from the heat and season with pepper.

2. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve right away.


Platters and Boards is published on the 20th of March 2018. Find out more here

Festive Favourites from Erin Gleeson

Festive Favourites

Embrace the festive feeling, whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati or even Festivus with some delicious wintery treats from master foodie Erin Gleeson: author of The Forest Feast, The Forest Feast Gatherings and The Forest Feast For Kids.

Sweet Potato Latkes

Sweet Potato Latkes
Image © Erin Gleeson

Holiday Cider Mule

Holiday Cider Mule
Image © Erin Gleeson
Festive Cabin
Image © Erin Gleeson
DIY Citrus Menorah
Image © Erin Gleeson

Happy (Early) Hanukkah Erin!

What are you favourite festive traditions? Let us know on Twitter #FestiveFavourites.

Recipe for the Weekend | Poached Eggs, Asparagus, and Chorizo

Get a little creative with your Brunch this weekend. How about Poached Eggs, Asparagus, and Chorizo?

Sunday Brunch
© Susie Cushner

 

Poached eggs set atop a mound of sleek asparagus spears, garnished with crispy bits of Spanish chorizo and toasted bread crumbs, make a simple yet impressive morning entrée. The sausage and bread crumbs contrast with the tender asparagus as well as with the soft eggs with their runny, sauce-like yolks.

Serves 4

Prep time:

15 minutes

Start-to-finish time:

45 minutes

Make Ahead:

Partially

1½ tbsp olive oil

½ cup/30 g coarse fresh bread crumbs (see cooking tip)

4 oz/115 g Spanish chorizo cut into ½-in/

12-mm cubes (use the Spanish-style chorizo in casing, not loose Mexican-style chorizo)

1¼ lb/680 g medium asparagus

Kosher salt

1 tbsp unsalted butter, diced

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 to 3 tbsp white or cider vinegar

4 eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil until hot in a medium, heavy frying pan set over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, tossing constantly, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the crumbs to a plate. (Crumbs can be prepared

1 hour ahead; cover and leave at room temperature.)

  1. Heat the remaining ½ tbsp oil in the same frying pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the chorizo and stir until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. (Chorizo can be prepared 1 hour ahead; leave at room temperature.)
  1. Trim and discard 2 to 3 in/5 to 7.5 cm of the tough bases of the asparagus spears. Add the asparagus and 1 tsp salt to a large frying pan filled halfway with simmering water. Cook until the spears are just tender, 4 minutes. Drain and toss the asparagus in a large bowl with the butter and lemon juice. Season with salt and cover with foil.
  1. Bring a large frying pan filled halfway with water to a boil. Add the vinegar and gently break each egg into a saucer and slide it into the water. Swirl the water with a wooden spoon while the eggs are cooking. Cook until the eggs are just set but the yolks are still soft, 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. (If you have an egg poacher, cook according to the manufacturer’s directions until the eggs are set.) 
  1. Mound some asparagus spears on each of four dinner plates. Top each serving with a poached egg and sprinkle with the chorizo and bread crumbs. Season the eggs with several grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt and serve.

Cooking tip:

To make bread crumbs, use a 1- to 2-day-old good-quality peasant or country bread with crusts removed. Process large chunks of it in a food processor to make coarse crumbs. Sourdough bread works particularly well.

Sunday Brunch